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“Not the best!”
Review of The Cafe

The Cafe
Ranked #2 of 192 Restaurants in Ames
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $20
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not the best!”
Reviewed August 8, 2013

So we come to Ames for some business and as we approach the last night here we go to trip advisor for the best food and what appears top choice is....the Cafe. So my buddy insists we try this place out. What i didnt know that i was walking into maybe the hot "gay" spot. As we look at the menu all the items are very feminine and dressed up. As we wait for are food we discuss walking out the side door to head on down to Texas Roadhouse for a more of our kind of food joint. So needless to say if you are going on a date with a dude of the same sex or a chick of the opposite sex this place might just be for you..but if you and some buddies are looking for a good meal, you might want to stick to Roadhouse or Hickory Park, just my opinion. We were caught a little off guard. Thanks for taking the time to read this as I dont think number one on this list of places in Ames is this place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Nugget0722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Colorado, USA
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Shockingly good”
Reviewed August 6, 2013 via mobile

What a delight.

I travel a lot, and have come to expect little in the way of quality food service and preparation among mid-sized towns in the Midwest. Not criticizing, it's just not their strength.

The Cafe is a notable exception to that rule, and it's easy to see why it is the #1 restaurant in Ames on TripAdvisor. Really, really well done. I will go out of my way to come back.

Edamame were steamed and salted perfectly. Salad was dressed just right, with flavor in every bite but no puddle at the bottom of the bowl. Fish tacos were crisp but saucy. I would argue that the sauce was a little runny, but they were one step ahead of me, putting an insulating layer of tortilla inside the outer shell... not enough thickness to ruin the taste but enough to avoid the sloppy results of "wet tortilla". And the banana cream pie? Almost as good as my mother used to make. I might say more, but I wouldn't want to make the woman who bore me cry.

Decor was charming, not overdone, intimate but well-lit with good music that wasn't too loud. Wait at the door? You bet. And if this place were in a big city like Boston or Chicago it would still have a wait at the door. Either the wait is worth it to you, or you should find another place to eat.

Thanks for a memorable evening.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Daniel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“best in Ames”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

When we visit our daughter in Ames,
we always head to the Cafe. We
could eat there every night. Excellent
and interesting healthy choices like
veggie burger or veggie risotto.
Then the dizzying array of selections
for dessert - always excellent.

Visited August 2013
Thank Cheryl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“EXPECT TO WAIT, but Worth it.”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

To me, the best food in the world doesn't need salt, pepper, or "other" added at the table. Every meal I have had at The Cafe has been just that. Expect something a little different, maybe even try something outside your comfort zone, and you'll love this place too.

No Reservations taken over the phone can be frustrating, but if you show up with a small party, have a drink while waiting, and relax, you'll be fine.

BTW, if you do get tired of waiting, PLEASE tell the hostess your leaving? The dining is relaxed and comfortable, help keep it that way. Also don't expect to stay and drink coffee for hours after desert, as others of us might be waiting behind you. (putting my soap box away for now)

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank SiouxFallsMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
228 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

A bit out of the way, but excellent breakfast. Had the eggs/chorizo dish - lOVED IT. good coffee and excellent service

Visited June 2013
Thank simnznc06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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